Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Combat-related injuries: Brain imaging differences in veterans with TBI

Date:
December 10, 2013
Source:
Saint Louis University Medical Center
Summary:
A recent study used diffusion tensor imaging, a type of highly sensitive magnetic resonance image (MRI), to examine the way water moves throughout the brain’s white matter.

In preliminary findings, Saint Louis University researchers report that veterans who suffered blast injuries have changes in brain tissue that are still apparent in images years after the blast. The data, presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, represents a small but intriguing look at brain imaging in those who suffered combat-related head injuries.

Related Articles


The findings are some of the first to come from a U.S. Department of Defense-funded brain imaging grant to Saint Louis University to learn more about the nature of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in veterans and civilians. The imaging project, led by Richard Bucholz, M.D., professor and vice chairman in the department of neurosurgery at SLU, began recruiting participants in 2009 and is concluding this year.

This study looked at data from diffusion tensor imaging, a type of highly sensitive magnetic resonance image (MRI), used to examine the way water moves throughout the brain's white matter.

SLU researcher Tom Malone compares the way water moves along nerve fibers through the brain to a garden hose.

"Imagine that water moving through a healthy brain is like a functional garden hose, all moving in the same direction with no leaks," said Malone. "Then, imagine a hose with many small holes in it, leaking water along the way. That's analogous to what we're seeing in the DTI scans of brains of those with blast injuries."

In civilians who suffered mild traumatic brain injury, like a concussion, cognitive issues typically resolved within one to three months. Military patients, however, often reported more persistent issues.

"Our military participants were still reporting problems," said P. Tyler Roskos, a neuropsychologist and assistant professor in the department of neurosurgery at SLU. "They look normal on a battery of cognitive tests. But when they went through our imaging tests we saw differences in their scans."

It is possible that previous scans were not sensitive enough to pick up these changes to the brain. Or, it may be the case that some veterans have more complicated health issues, Roskos says.

"Sometimes combat veterans are dealing with multiple challenges, like depression or alcohol or drug use. It can be hard to tell what's causing what."

"The difficult thing with this group is that many times service members don't receive evaluation until they are back stateside," said Roskos. "We know that if you do a CT or standard MRI scan, you probably won't see anything abnormal. And yet, injured service members are frequently reporting problems with memory, functioning or daily life. And, until now, we've had limited data to try to understand what's going on.

"The diffusor tensor imaging has the potential to help us understand why injured members of the military are reporting these issues. It also may help service members feel justified that the 'invisible injuries' they experience are real."

Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first medical degree west of the Mississippi River. The school educates physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health care on a local, national and international level. Research at the school seeks new cures and treatments in five key areas: cancer, liver disease, heart/lung disease, aging and brain disease, and infectious disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Saint Louis University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Saint Louis University Medical Center. "Combat-related injuries: Brain imaging differences in veterans with TBI." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131210163529.htm>.
Saint Louis University Medical Center. (2013, December 10). Combat-related injuries: Brain imaging differences in veterans with TBI. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131210163529.htm
Saint Louis University Medical Center. "Combat-related injuries: Brain imaging differences in veterans with TBI." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131210163529.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Newsy (Oct. 25, 2014) — A Harvard University Research Team created genetically engineered stem cells that are able to kill cancer cells, while leaving other cells unharmed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins